Whiley And Brand Quizzes 'Faked'by Contributor | 25 January 2008
The BBC has said that radio shows hosted by Jo Whiley and Russell Brand were involved in two new cases of misleading the public over competitions.
BBC director general Mark Thompson has told the BBC Trust competition entrants were invited to call supposedly "live" competitions on pre-recorded episodes of the Radio 1 and 6 Music shows.
Mr Thompson was reporting to the corporation's regulatory body to announce progress made since an action plan announced on July 18th 2007 confirmed a serious approach to tackling breaches of editorial standards.
The incident on Jo Whiley's radio show occurred just three weeks after a previous breach of standards in which a member of staff had posed as a competition entrant.
In the second case, on May 12th 2006, listeners were invited to call to enter a competition which had already been recorded with a genuine listener the previous day, due to engineering work underway in the Radio 1 studios.
However a BBC statement confirmed the incident, stating: "Although this person was a genuine member of the audience, the name of a second participant, mentioned on air, was invented, and listeners had been invited to telephone and text when in reality there was no opportunity to participate."
In the case of Russell Brand's show on 6 Music, an edition of the typically-live programme broadcast on April 9th 2006 had been pre-recorded.
"In this programme, a competition winner was not a listener, but a member of BBC staff," the BBC press release confirmed. "Listeners who had called or sent texts to the programme had, in reality, no opportunity to participate."
An apology to listeners is to be broadcast on both radio stations this week, it was announced yesterday by Mr Thompson.
The corporation has also said it plans to contact listeners who had sent text messages to the show to offer them compensation.
As well as uncovering the two new instances of failing editorial practices, Mr Thompson announced the end of a ban on RDF, the production company responsible for making a misleading trailer for the promotion of a documentary about the Queen.